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Masterson's 12 Year Old Straight Wheat Whiskey

Average score from 2 reviews and 2 ratings 83

Masterson's 12 Year Old Straight Wheat Whiskey

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Masterson's 12 Year Old Straight Wheat Whiskey

Let's segue from an unaged wheat spirit to a 12 year old wheat whisky. This comes from Sonoma CA based 35 Maple Street, which imports Canadian whisky, bottles it and sells it back to us (grrrr). This is a straight 100% wheat whisky, matured for 12 years in used white oak barrels.

The colour is an extremely light pale yellow. Rather spirity on the nose with lemon curd, Mackintosh toffee and milk chocolate. Despite the pale colour, there is definitely some oak here. Water brings out marmalade and gives a bit more depth. A little bit too sweet-smelling for me though.

Very thin on the palate - there is very light caramel, some vanilla and a hint of milk chocolate, but there really isn't much there. Hold it in the mouth and a wee bit of orange comes out. Water adds some welcome spice. It is tasty but needs a lot more oomph.

The dry, almost smoky finish features more caramel and a bit of pepper, but it fades quickly. This isn't bad but not fully to my taste, especially compared to Bernheim's US wheat whisky. Nosing this and Toronto Distillery's wheat spirit side-by-side shows similar sweet citrus notes, and you get a sense of the cask influence - very interesting. Not terrible - and very smooth and drinkable - but just not my cup of tea. Next, we'll move on to two whiskies from the same craft distillery...

I know the Masterson's rye is from Alberta Distillers, this may also be from there as well - but I'm not sure. I am sure it is imported already aged - as you suggest, that's just good business sense and one can guess that the distiller probably knows more about maturation than the bottler. I looked this up at www.canadianwhisky.org to try to find an answer your questions, but didn't see anything, so I sent Davin de Kergommeaux a note and I'll let you know what he says.

I pulled the trigger on this when it was discounted to $50. I did not care for it when I first tried it. I recently revisited after the bottle was open for about a month and found it much better the second time around. Not stellar, just better.


Masterson's entered the market with an absolutely fantastic rye whisky, and has since released two other products - a straight wheat whisky and a barley whisky, both single batches with no current plans for more. All of the products are sourced out of Canada, again showing off some of the fantastic whiskies in Canada which often get lost into blends. This whisky is 12 years old, bottled at 50% ABV, and, from the looks of it, doesn't have any added colouring. As a straight whisky, it is aged in brand new charred oak barrels - though the colour of this is so light that they must have been very lightly charred. It also, I might note, is 100% wheat - not something you find in whisky very often.

Nose: Quite a dense, woody nose. Light vanilla comes through, some light cola notes, molasses, daisies, lavender, cacao, light oaky earthiness, maple, and a bit of a spirity-chemical feel at times. With time, it opens up a bit and the vanilla comes out with more force. And with that, there is lots of wheat present too - though on some nosings there's enough else going on that I barely noticed it at all. 83%

Taste: Again, quite dense and woody, with a surprising amount of sweetness and gentle spice. Licorice root, cloves, maple, molasses, and dried cranberries are all in the mix. There is bitterness from the oak present, but it is controlled enough that it isn't too much - though I imagine it wouldn't take much more to make this less enjoyable. It fades into a buttery controlled finish full of surprising flavour. With some added water, the body seems to thicken and it has a bit more of an oily feel to it. 85%

Finish: Creamy and buttery, with some very nice light vanilla, cacao, licorice root, wheat, maple, and caramel. It isn't initially very oaky, but the tannins from the oak are present. After all the woodiness, I am surprised to find something so deep, creamy and controlled at the end of the whisky. It's a bit oily, and lingers for some time, with the wheat and dry oak eventually taking complete hold of the taste. 90%

Intrigue: I expected to taste a lot more wheat in this, and it is surprisingly light for 50% - I imagine it would be too bland at a lower proof. In profile, it reminds me, surprisingly, of a lot of the 100% corn whiskies coming out of Highwood like the century reserve or ninety products. Likely the best known wheat whiskey in the world is Bernheim (only 51% wheat), but of an entirely different profile than this. Also, I find often that finishes are not the stars of the show for me - but in this case, it is. Good, but, of course, this is not the same caliber stuff as their rye (or barley). 88%

Weighting the nose 25%, taste 35%, Finish 15%, and Intrigue 25% the overall grade is 87

where did you find this? It doesn't appear on the LCBO website

this is now popping up at the LCBO....I had sourced this one in the states

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